Sexual hygiene was also a topic of monographs. The treatises usually included procedures and recipes useful for enhancing the pleasure of sexual intercourse and for aphrodisiacs, and sometimes procedures for ensuring the production of offspring. They also often included instructions for regimen and hygiene that would make a person more attractive, as well as cosmetic procedures and recipes.
For a general discussion of Arabic sources for medieval writings on sexual hygiene, see Ullmann, Medizin, pp. 193-198.
NLM has two short anonymous pieces concerned with sexual hygiene, both Persian tracts. It also has in its collections an anonymous poem concerned with sexual hygiene titled Dar bayan-i narah va han ("On the Explanation of Male and Female Genitalia"), which was catalogued amongst the medical poetry (MS P 16.1 item 1).
The manuscript is undated, but the appearance of the paper, ink, and handwriting suggests a dating of the early 18th century. This item in the volume was copied by the same unnamed copyist who transcribed the other items in the volume.
The essay appears incomplete. The text is written in a medium-small, careful and professional naskh with some ta‘liq characteristics. The text area has been frame-ruled. Black ink with headings in black and in red. There are catchwords.
The very glossy beige paper has occasional thin patches and indistinct wavy horizontal laid lines, but no chain lines. The same paper was used throughout the volume. There is waterstaining on the three open sides of all the leaves. The edges or corner of a number of leaves have been repaired. There has been some earlier numbering of some folios in pencilled Western numerals, but they are badly out of sequence with the recent foliation.
The volume consists of 118 leaves. Item 1 (fols. 1a-19b) is an anonymous and untitled tabular treatise on foods (MS P 26, item 1), and item 2 (fols. 20a-62b) on food and drink, untitled, by Vaṭvāṭ (MS P 26, item 2). Item 3 (fols. 62b-88b) is the Maqālat fī al-‘izām lil-muta‘allimīn by Galen (MS P 26, item 3), and item 4 (fols. 88b-109a) the Maqālat fī tashrīḥ al-‘aḍal also by Galen (MS P 26, item 4). Item 5 (fols. 109b-113a) contains compound remedies, anonymous and untitled (MS P 26, item 5), and item 6 (fols. 113a-118b) is the item here catalogued.
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda (ELS 2375).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., entry P26, p. 338 (this item not described)
NLM Microfilm Reel:FILM 48-137 no. 1
NLM has one manuscript (MS P 29) that has 35 short Persian treatises written in the margins, surrounding the main Persian text in the center of each page, which is a copy of the Persian version of Kitāb ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt (Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing) written in the 13th century by Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī. Amongst these 35 marginal treatises is one concerned with sexual hygiene.
No author is supplied for this introductory essay on sexual hygiene.
No other copy has been identified.
The manuscript (MS P 29) which contains these three items is undated but signed by the scribe, Sayyid Ḥusayn Yazdī. There is a portrait of a scribe immediately below the colophon giving the scribe's name (fol. 173a). The volume must have been completed before 1546/953 H, when an owner's stamp for one ‘Imād al-Dīn Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd Limūnī was placed in the volume. It appears to have been copied in India.
The text is written in the same hand as the main text in the volume. The marginal text is written in a small, compact, professional, and elegant ta‘liq tending toward naskh script, in black ink with headings in red and red overlinings. There are catchwords for the central text, which is enclosed in frames of blue, red, gilt, and black lines. The marginal text is written in short diagonal lines between the frame enclosing the central text and a larger frame of blue, gilt, and black lines.
The glossy yellow-brown paper is moderately thin with only laid lines visible. There is some water damage near the edges, and the edges have been trimmed from their original size. Folios 1 and 173 have been reinforced.
There are 173 leaves in the volume. Fols. 1a and 173b are blank. The main item in the volume, occupying the central text area of fols. 1b-173a is ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt by al-Qazwīnī (MS P 29). There are 35 distinct treatises written in the wide margins of the folios. The marginal items are: MS P 29, marginal item 1: (fol. 1b) Dar ḥaqīqat-i ‘ālam, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 2: (fols. 2a-3b) Risālah-i qiyāfah by Sayyid ‘Alī Hamdānī; MS P 29, marginal item 3: (fols. 3b-10b) Risālah-i ḥifz al-ṣiḥḥah by al-Jurjānī; MS P 29, marginal item 4: (fols. 10b-12a) Muqaddimah-i nabz, anon. ; MS P 29, marginal item 5: (fols. 18a-19b) Muqqadimah-i ‘ishq, anon. ; MS P 29, marginal item 6: (fols. 19b-22b) sharḥ-i pat , anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 7: (fols. 23a-25b) Dar ‘ishq, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 8: (fols. 26a-29b) Risālah-i ṭarīqah-i naqsh-bandīy, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 9: (fols. 33b-33b) on astronomical principles, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 10: (fol. 41a) on the zodiacal sign of Cancer, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 11: (fols. 42b-45a) on ancient authorities, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 12: (fols. 45b-46b) Ḥaqīqat-i ṭūl-i va ‘arḍ-i aqālīm, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 13: (fols. 52a-53b) on astrology and magic, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, margin item 14: (fols. 54a-56b) is here catalogued; MS P 29, marginal item 15: (fols. 57a-62a) on magic squares and talismans, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 16: (fols. 62a-63b) Risālah dar hawāṣṣ, attributed to Ibn Sīnā; MS P 29, marginal item 17: (fols. 63b-66b) Muqaddimāt-i ḥisāb, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 18: (fols. 66b-70a) on numerology and lunar mansions, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 19: (fols. 70a-73b) on occult properties, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 20: (fols. 73b-77b) Muqaddimah-i raml, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 21: (fol. 77b) Muqaddimah-i ganjifah, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 22: (fol. 77b) Muqaddimah-i shaṭranj, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 23: (fols. 78a-80b) on magical alphabets, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 24: (fols. 81a-88b) Khulāṣah-i tawārīkh, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 25: (fols. 88b-91a) Khulāṣah-i rājāwatī, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 26: (fols. 92a-93a) on wonders among world rulers, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 27: (fols. 96a-99a) reports and sayings of learned Sufi shaykhs (untitled), anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 28: (fols. 99a-101b) Dar akhlāq-i ḥamīdah, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 29: (fols. 101b-108a) Tuḥfat al-wuzarā' , anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 30: (fols. 108b-109b) on magic, untitled, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 31: (fols. 114b-129a, 132a-140a, 141a-147a, 148a-162a) on medical-magical procedures (untitled) by Ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; MS P 29, marginal item 32: (fols. 162a-165a) Risālah dar akl va shurb, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 33: (fol. 166a) Dar ḥisab-i siyāq-i ḥayawanāt, anon.; MS P 29, marginal item 34: (fols. 167a-167b) on compound recipes, untitled, anon.; and MS P 29, marginal item 35: (fols. 169a-172b) Khawāṣṣ-i jafrāt, anon. There are no marginal texts on fols. 12b-17b, 30a-31b, 34a-40b, 41b-42a, 47a-51b, 91b, 93b-95a, 110a-114b, 129b-131b, 140b, 141b-142a, 147b, 165b, 166b, 168a, 168b [only marginal corrections], and 173a.
The volume is bound in pasteboards covered with dark-brown leather. On the covers there are gold-tooled frames filled with acanthus leaves, with flowers or a star in the center and corners. The spine has gold-stamped flowers and a border. The binding is not original. There are modern pastedowns and endpapers.
There is an owner's stamp dated 1546/953 H with the name ‘Imād al-Dīn Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad ibn Maḥmūd Limūnī (folio 173a).
The volume was purchased from R. Thomas Heller, New York, on 3 August 1949. No further information is available on the provenance.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 55-41 no. 3